Golden Globes 2018: #WhyWeWearBlack

Credits: Photo - Anonymous, Styling - Sarah G. Schmidt. Location - The Living Room

Oh what a night. Fuelled by the recent launch of the Times Ups initiative - which promises to give a voice and resources to those affected by workplace sexual harassment - Sunday night’s Golden Globes marked a new beginning. A new beginning that was overwhelming dressed in black.

While I am not typically a super fan of the colour on a red carpet, last night I sure was. Women and men showed their support and commitment to the cause by dressing in a sort of uniform. It was an easy identifier of showing allegiance.

Too often celebrities take their mammoth platform for granted. They may want to keep conversations focused only on the project they are promoting. As if to say that they can’t be many things at once: interested in their project, interested in injustices in our daily humanity, and interested in fashion too? Why are they forced to choose? Regardless, in the past they may have said that they don’t care about the fashion they get to wear. They may have said that clothing doesn’t matter. Cue my heart breaking.

May I remind you of the eco system of an actor’s red carpet? The cliff notes version is this: actors are expected to promote their work. This is often through a series of events, including red carpets, where they are expected to show up in clothing (I have yet to see a nudist tour press tour, athough Sacha Baron Cohen came close with Borat) and talk about the project. “Tell me what you’re wearing?” is often a media person’s opening line icebreaker at these types of events. It can help to get the actor talking. The clothing selected and worn will help the actor get press coverage online. This is because media outlets need visual content and details to provide the “inside scoop” on that we, the reader, devour in the websites we click on and in the pages of the magazines we pay for at the grocery store. Readers like you and me will swoon at learning what brand of clothing they are wearing, make up brands used, and the shoes on their feet. We love to look at beautiful things, right? Back on track: because of the coverage, the actor’s profile - and their project - is heightened. What designer the actor chooses to wear (often times on loan, for free) gets profiled. Fashion can help an actor successfully (ie: clicks and ticket sales) promote a project while the actor can bring attention to the brand they wear. It’s a win (actor and their project), win (fashion brand), win (media content).

Most of the time, this symbiotic relationship gets taken for granted. At the very least, the importance of the potential influence fashion can help to provide gets minimized. The other night was a shinning example of that not only does fashion matter, it can fuel an entire conversation about the tragedies that are happening in nearly everyone’s workplace.

Why black? Please don’t get the meaning of the colour choice at the Golden Globes twisted. Wearing black wasn’t about sadness or mourning, rather it was a celebration of unity. It was a non-verbal expression something like, “Oh we’re done with the bullshit. See how many of us are done? There sure are lots us, hey? Time is up.” If it was a funeral, it was a funeral only for gender disparity and garbage in the workplace. It’s dead.

The actor fuelled website Times Up is rich with information and resources to help those affected while trying to do their job at their workplace. How ridiculous is it that half of women have to deal with that nonsense at work? Take a poll with your loved ones and ask them how many people are delighted that they have to deal with, or see, or hear about the harassment of others while trying to do their dang job? No one is delighted about this.

No matter the volume of occurrence let me be clear: this is not a trivial thing. It’s seriously damaging, it’s unnecessary, and it must stop. Please don’t come at me trying to rank what type of sexual crime is more or less severe (shut up, Matt Damon), rather let’s acknowledge that many men create victims by abusing their place of power. The misuse of power is at the root all these gross, illegal actions.

Well, time is up. Sunday night is just the start. I’m super pumped, obviously. Using fashion to douse gasoline on a societal conversational fire is what gets me up every morning and often what keeps me up at night.

Are you ready to take a stand? Read more here.